With comic book franchises and video games moving up to the big screen, it’s not a surprise that Activision Blizzard has decided to join the fray. The company, which is behind several successful franchises that include World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and the Call of Duty series, is set to develop film adaptations of its most successful titles through its very own Skylanders Academy.
The Academy’s first tasks? Develop a TV adaptation of Skylanders! The project is already ongoing, with Justin Long, Ashley Tisdale, Jonathan Banks and Norm Macdonald already on board to provide their vocal talents for the TV series.
The upcoming Skylanders’ TV show is executively produced by Eric Rogers. If you didn’t know, Rogers used to be a writer for Futurama. That’s not the only project to come from Skylanders Academy however.
A film adaptation of the Call of Duty series is also in the works, although the press release announcing the establishment of the film studio had offered little details about the project. The studio could take cues from the more recent Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3 titles in the Call of Duty franchise.
Because the scope of the Call of Duty series is big, there could also be television adaptations. Activision has been rumored to be looking to start its own film studio since last year. An update to the LinkedIn profile of Nick van Dyk, co-president of Activision Blizzard, spoiled the new project by September 2014.
The press release is merely confirmation of those rumors. As to why the company would spend billions of dollars to start a studio, the company told its investors during a conference that it wants to keep several aspects of its filmmaking efforts in-house including publication, marketing and financing.
Van Dyk’s prepared statement implies that the company finds this necessary to protect its immense portfolio, all of which have not been explored in film and TV adaptations.
The company’s 30-year-old library presents the company with plenty of potential and opportunities that it can explore creatively. However, it is notable that a World of Warcraft film was developed not by Activision Blizzard, but by Legendary Pictures. The film is set for release on June 10 next year, and has recently released a trailer.